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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have had rising damp in my rented property for over a year

Resolved Question:

I have had rising damp in my rented property for over a year and the landlord has not done anything about it. For the last three months a new leak developed in the bedroom and lots of mould has formed all over walls and ceilings which means the room can't even be used.I also warned foxtons about this in September and they ignored it also.The lease runs out in January so now they are offering to fix it all, but I rather go elsewhere.However, am I obliged by law to pay full rent for all this time even when the property is so unhealthy? I have emails with pictures to back up all my complaints to them.What are my rights?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : For now please let me know whether you have had an independent survey or informed the council?
Customer: I have not done either.
Customer: I was told you were online and now that I have paid you are off line?!
Alex Watts : I am here even though the system shows me offline when I go to another screen.
Alex Watts : I would speak with the council. They can send an inspector and can take action against the landlord, that is free
Alex Watts : You can also get a survey done and set out the problems to the landlord and ask for compesmation. Clealry there is a cost to the survey.
Alex Watts : But what you can't and must not do is with hold any rent or you can be evicted.
Alex Watts : If you want to claim compensation you can.
Alex Watts : You need to write and set out your losses and request a payment within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.
Alex Watts : If they do not pay you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.
Alex Watts : The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
Alex Watts : If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: At this point I am not worried about eviction. Like I said, the lease runs out in January and I want to move elsewhere. Some of the damp issues here were present when I viewed the property 23 months ago , they promised it would be sorted prior to moving in and they are still here.
Customer: i have withhold two months rent hoping this would speed up the landlord, but he did nothing. Twice the job was booked with the damp specialist when I was going to be away , all we needed was the landlord to agree on the job and both times we didn't hear back.
Customer: they have 6 weeks deposit from me and I owe them these two months. I do not agree to pay full rent for all this time when I have been living with such terrible damp.
Customer: The builder that came from Foxtons this week, ask me as soon as he saw it if I had children living here as it was too unhealthy for children in the house. I don't want to pay them everything owed and be chasing money from them in a small claims court months from now. I work from home and have lost enough time and business trying to deal withhold property . In the last six months as well as damp, I have had a burst pipe in the kitchen ( I got someone to fix it as it too the landlord three weeks to get back to Foxtons), shower burst, bath tap broken, sink tap broken and entire Eletrical box going down. For two weeks the only electricity I had was two plugs upstairs working and had to run all power , including fridge and cooker from those two sockets .
Alex Watts : Ok. Foxtons should be taking action. But in any event you can take the steps above, ie the council or court.
Alex Watts : Does that help?
Customer: Foxtons position all along is that they work for the landlord and have to wait for an answe from the landlord.
Customer: i am not sure who/ how to contact the council.
Customer: can I still do a registered letter to them with amounts I think should be deducted based on things that were not working (orbit 100%) during certain periods? How do I calculate that? No use of 1 out of 3 bedrooms ( 20% off rent), damp in living room ( 15% off rent), etc
Customer: i have even developed asthma again ( which i didn't have for the last 32 years) due to the damp here.
Alex Watts : It would be Environemntal Healthag the council.
Customer: small claims court from a previous experience with an employer can take months.
Customer: Who can do a survey? I need this sorted within two weeks, so not sure if council will take too long.
Alex Watts : A surveyor can sort the survey for you. It is called dilapidations.
Alex Watts : The council of court is a free option.
Alex Watts : You can sue yourself but that can take time.
Alex Watts : Does that clarify?
Customer: No. Sorry, that confused me.
Customer: Do you mean just any property surveyor? Can I pass the cost of that to the landlord eventually?
Customer: what do you mean by the council of court? The council ( environmental health or small claims court?)
Customer: don't get the bit about being able to sue myself either. Sorry!
Alex Watts : Yes a property surveyor and yes you can get the costs back from the landlord.
Alex Watts : If you talk to the council it is likely to be environemntal health
Alex Watts : yes you can sue at the small claims youraelf.
Alex Watts : yourself.
Alex Watts : Does that help?
Customer:

Just one more clarification, is it best to the the letter with figures I want reduced from what is owed due to the property not being 100% , giving them a time frame to answer before taking it to court?

Customer:

I want to try to find a quick solution. I have had so much stress dealing with Foxtons and the landlord, that now I just want to move to my new property and not keep dealing with them even after I have moved out. I have no more than two weeks to come to an agreement with them.

Alex Watts : Yes I would write and give 14 days with a breakdown.
Alex Watts : or say you will go to court. Does that help?
Customer:

Sure. I will chase all these fronts tomorrow. Thanks

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Customer:

I think I got it. My boyfriend is still at work, I just want to show him this and see if he also understands what we need to do regarding this or if he can think of something I am not thinking of. I will rate you after that.

Customer:

Is that ok? I think once I send you the rating, our dialogue will be over.

Customer:

I'll do it tonight. Many thanks.

Alex Watts :

Sure thats fine. Thanks

Alex Watts :

Once you rate you can come back at any time, it does not close

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